Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC admitted being behind the May 29 kidnapping of a nine-year-old girl, explaining that it was a mistake on their part, according to an announcement on the group’s official webpage.
The FARC posted a letter on their official webpage in which they admitted capturing a policeman’s daughter last month and explained that the capture was made “by mistake” as the guerrillas’ plan was to attack her father.
“One of the units under us worked in planning an attack against the commander of the police station, the superintendent Victor Cantoni. As we were informed, intelligence determined that the right time for action was half past six, when the sergeant, after leaving his little daughter at school, was traveling alone in a car to his workplace. With that idea in mind the leader developed the plan proposed to be carried out the morning of May 29.”
The nine-year-old daughter of the local police commander was kidnapped from school in a rural area in the southwest of Colombia on May 29.
In spite of the presumptions made about the ones responsible for the kidnapping, there had been no official version of what happened until the rebel group released the statement.
According to the statement, the FARC rejects any kind of kidnapping for financial purposes, and they themselves had been on alert when the announcement that a nine-year-old girl had been taken.
“Even us, who upon finding out the news, without knowing that it was the daughter of the superintendent, got ready to cover key units from our sites, to secure her release and catch the kidnappers,” the FARC stated in the letter, adding that it was then when they found out that the captured girl was under the Bloque Occidental of the insurgency.
The girl was rescued at approximately 7:30PM the following day after being captured as a result of a massive manhunt conducted by almost 300 members from local African-Colombian communities and the Indigenous Guard who performed a search between the towns of Toribio and Caloto.
The FARC ordered a ban on kidnapping in early 2012. Since then, 80% of kidnapping in Colombia have been carried-out by common criminals, according to the government.
Rebel groups FARC and ELN were held responsible for 61 kidnappings carried-out in 2013.
FACT SHEET: Kidnapping statistics
- La verdad sobre la niña de Guachené (FARC letter)